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Atto Fridays – Professor James Cryan – Probing Attosecond Electron Dynamics with X-ray Free Electron Lasers

March 10, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Electron motion is a key ingredient of chemical reactions. For small quantum systems, the natural timescale for such electronic motion is typically in the range of tens to hundreds of attoseconds. Consequently, the study of ultrafast electronic phenomena requires the generation of laser pulses shorter than 1 fs, and of sufficient intensity to drive multiple interactions with the target. Free Electron Lasers (FELs), such as the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), are now able to achieve these conditions, allowing for the probing of electron dynamics on this natural time scale, elucidating the earliest processes involved in chemical change.

In my talk, I will present our first results demonstrating nonlinear spectroscopies such as pump/probe spectroscopy, and X-ray wave mixing making use of this unique source. We demonstrated the preparation of a coherent electronic wavepacket by driving stimulated X-ray Raman scattering. Combing attosecond X-ray pulses with an external laser field we are able to time-resolve the photoemission dynamics of core-level electrons in molecules. I will also present a first result in attosecond-pump/attosecond-probe spectroscopy.

Bio: James Cryan is a Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He is the head of the AMO Sciences Department at LCLS, and he is a member of the Stanford PULSE Institute, where leads the attosecond science group. James’ research focuses on studying electron dynamics on the attosecond time scale and developing tools to better probe these phenomena. James is also the lead instrument scientist for the time-resolved molecular and optical sciences (TMO) hutch at the LCLS, a soft x-ray spectroscopy hutch which specializes in gas phase samples.

James completed his undergraduate education at The Ohio State University. He received his PhD in physics from Stanford University in 2012. From 2012 to 2014, James was a Postdoctoral scholar in the Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2015 he joined SLAC as a Staff Scientist in the Stanford PULSE Institute.  In 2012, James won the Spicer Young Investigator award for his thesis work at the LCLS. In 2020, James was elected a fellow to the American Physical Society.

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Alternatively, you can watch the talk live on YouTube as a passive viewer



March 10, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Atto Fridays
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